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The Pottery Strike

The Pottery Strike image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Th3 followmy two facts have a specaal tinieiiness, coming bo soon aftei the attempt of the McKanleyites to "raise wages:" The pottery manufacturera at Trenton, N. J., have submitted a schedule of wages to the sanitary ware pressers which ineans a reductioa of aboat 33 1-3 per cent. Nearly 400 potters are on strike in Trenton, N. J., because of the decisión to reject the reduction of wages proposed by the manufactnrers. The men were willing to continue work at the old scale pending further investigation, but the bosses insisted that the new list was to go into effect, and the men quit work. These item3 are taken fron ona column of The Boston Commercial Bulletin, which never wearies of defeadmg our high tarilï sj'stem. When the manufactnrers were before the McKinley couimittee, one of their number, John Moses, of Treaton, N. J., sadd: "The domestic potteries have beea kept in operation with the hope that the wisdom of our members of congress would lead thera to give ua the protection which we so muoh need to maintain onr ground against the colossal fortunes which have been made by foreign mannfacturers at the expense of the Americaa people." The f ollo-wing from his testimony is of peculiar interest in connection with the present reduction of wagea and the strike: Mr. Carlisle - In answer to a question by Governor Gear, you said that if the Mills bül had passed, in your opinión yon would ..have been compelled either to close up yoor establishment or to reduce wages. Is it not a fact that shortly af ter the passage of the act of 1883, which increased the dutiee, you reduced wages at Trenton? Mr. Moses - No, sir. Mr. Carlisle - They have never been reduced since 1883? Mr. Moses - In 1885 there was a reduction submitted to by the men themselves, owing to the reduction made in the price of goods. From 1879 to 1885 there was no reduction of any kind, althongh the price of goods had been gradually going down. In 1885, about the lst of January, we called our men together and held a consultation, and we showed that there was a necessity for a reduction of wages. Mr. Carlisle - That was less than two years after the act of 1883 took effect. In about two years after that you found you were not able to pay the same wagea as you did before that act passed. Mr. Moses- Yes, sir, that is true, because the foreign goods of all classes were thrown into our market. Prices of goods feil in the foreign market. This Mr. Moses, who proposed to lead the pottery induatry out of the wilderness, wrote out the duties he -wanted and handed the list to McKinley. It is printed as a part of his examination, and it reappears in the McKinley tarifE law without an alteration, except in the way of making the language more specitio and s weeping. The duties submitted by Mr. Mosea were not all that he wanted; he asked also that the dnty on the foreign article should inclnde the cost of packages, foreign freights, etc. Under the old law these expenses were deducted before the duty was calculated. He said that the importers were in this way escaping the duties on from 15 to 60 per cent. of theii invoices. Well, Mr. Moses got everything he asked. The McKinley administration law was passed and was put into operation Aug. 1, 1890. It allows notbing for breakage, makes the packages dutiable at the same rate as the goods, and includes freight charges and all other expenses before calculating the duty. And what is the result? Higher wagesi No; but a reduction of one-third, and the men are out on strike.